Michael Ronzetti is a graduate student in the Graduate Partnerships Program in the Early Translation Branch within NCATS’ Division of Preclinical Innovation. Under the supervision of Bolormaa Baljinnyam, Ph.D., he develops, validates and executes primary, orthogonal and counter-screen assays across a variety of targets. He also collaborates with other scientists and leverages resources across NCATS divisions and NIH Institutes and Centers. Ronzetti has developed and deployed biophysical assays — like Cellular Thermal Shift Assay (CETSA®), differential scanning fluorimetry, and microscale thermophoresis, among others — as a complement to biochemical screening data, contributing to new methods employed by others in their target engagement profiling studies. This training period was punctuated with a first-author paper on reprogramming tumor-associated macrophages in Science Translational Medicine.
Ronzetti earned his Bachelor of Science in neuroscience from the University of Michigan in 2016. Now a graduate student with the NIH Graduate Partnerships Program, he splits his time between the University of Maryland (advised by Utpal Pal, Ph.D.) and NCATS (advised by Anton M. Simeonov, Ph.D.), executing parallel target- and phenotype-driven drug discovery campaigns to identify small molecules with cytotoxic effect against Borrelia bacteria and novel mechanisms of action. He has taken advantage of several unique training opportunities, most recently participating in the inaugural NIH Advanced Imaging and Microscopy program and leading a team through initial customer discovery and market opportunity evaluation of Real-time-CETSA, a nascent platform designed at NCATS. He has served on the NCATS Fellows Committee since its inauguration and hopes to help illuminate paths toward alternative, bench-free science careers for others in his tenure. To date, Ronzetti has authored or co-authored seven research papers in peer-reviewed publications and holds several patents for novel biophysical platforms and methods.
Ronzetti expects to complete his doctoral degree in 2023 and find a position in industry or government to continue his drug development training. Eventually, he would like to turn to a founding position, learning the complexities of heading a group or building up a biotechnology company at the earliest stages of drug discovery.